Sports-Talk Shoutfest Has Ruined Politics on TV

Wilbon and Kornheiser are great, but CNN should stop imitating them
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2008 3:11 PM CST

(Newser) – ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, a show in which two sports writers “make fun of each other’s male pattern baldness and argue about sports,” often at high volume, is on many fans’ watch list, including political scientist Christopher A. Cooper. Unfortunately, PTI “has ruined American politics,” Cooper writes in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as cable news shows have applied the formula far too broadly.

Every happening is instantly digested by having opposing partisans argue. The annoying approach “suggests that there are no durable facts, only opinions,” and dangerously implies that there are exactly two sides to every issue, leaving out a hundred shades of gray. The PTI format is great when you’re debating Pacman Jones or dancing penguins. For real issues? Try to do better the next time.